Department of Public Health Sciences

Department of

Public Health Sciences


Public Health Sciences

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Thesis Outline

Students are required to submit a two-page, single spaced outline of their thesis project signed by the Primary Supervisor and other members of the Supervisory Committee (if applicable) no later than February 28 of their first year. The submission is to be via email to  

The outlines will be reviewed by a panel of faculty members designated each year by the Program Director.  The purpose of the review is to provide useful feedback to the student and Supervisor/Committee prior to embarking on the full-scale proposal and to render an assessment of whether the project, as outlined, is thesis-worthy.  The reviews will be sent to the student and Supervisor/Committee.  A copy will be kept on the student’s file.

More specifically, the review panel will be asked to comment on whether:

  1. the project is likely to be manageable within the timeframe and expectations of the two-year MSc program,
  2. the project, if completed as outlined, is adequate and appropriate for an MSc thesis,
  3. there are any methodological or other issues that could pose a problem for a successful proposal defense.

The outline is intended to provide an overview of the intended project with respect to the following:

  1. Title
  2. Purpose (~ ¼ page)
  3. Background and Rationale (~ ¼ page)
  4. Empirical Objectives (~ ¼ page)
  5. Study Design and Methods (~ ¾ page)
    1. Data management and analysis strategy
  6. Ethical Considerations (~ ¼ page)
  7. Feasibility Issues (e.g. access to the required data) (~ ¼ page)
  8. Timeline for Proposal development and Project Completion noting key dates (additional ½ page)
  9. References (additional ¼ page)
  10. Name(s) and Signature(s) of Supervisor/Committee Members  & Date (additional ¼ page)

NOTE: Students with first-class standing who show exceptional promise in their research may be considered for promotion to our doctoral program in Epidemiology without completion of the Master’s degree. This is called completing a Mini-Master’s. Application to complete a Mini-Master’s is normally made following two terms of full-time enrollment, and prior to the end of the fifth term of study. Ideally, the Mini-Master’s option would be discussed at the thesis outline stage.